Diary

Nigel Farage’s diary: How I survived Dry January

Plus: What’s next for Greece, and why I’m glad to see the back of Amjad Bashir

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

Dry January is tougher than it sounds. Well, for me anyway. It’s now been some 28 days since I’ve had a drink, and you should see what that means for my campaigning strategy. ‘Ginger beer? Lemonade?’ Pub-goers around the country can’t believe it when I walk in and whisper my order over the bar. The fact is they don’t believe I’m really doing it. ‘I’m not all spin and bluster like those other lads,’ I usually reply. ‘If I promise I’m going to do something, I’ll bloody well do it.’ Still, I can’t say it’s never going to tempt me again. Especially not given the week I’ve had.

It all started in Milan. We jumped on the easyJet from Gatwick on Monday morning for a lunch meeting with the Casaleggios, the geniuses behind Italian comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, who got eight million votes at the last Italian general election. It was nothing short of fascinating. The Five Star movement is basically a wholly online political party. It has a culture of transparency and openness around it that really makes you think about where politics is headed, and how politics is changing in the Mediterranean specifically. Which takes us straight to Greece — the election results of which were, as I see it, a cry for help. Here’s a country that has been ravaged by the euro — and now wants an end to austerity to try another way of alleviating its euro-inflicted debt crisis. What follows now is surely an incredible game of poker against Mrs Merkel. The European Central Bank of course, grits its teeth nervously as it observes.


On Monday afternoon, I went back to Brussels. I still have to lead the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament, on top of being an MEP, a Parliamentary candidate, and leader of Ukip. But my mind was geared towards a round-table hustings in Ramsgate, which was great fun. Going in, the entry poll showed a 49 per cent vote for the Tory candidate, and a 15 per cent vote for me. After the event, the results were quite different: 36 per cent for me and 33 per cent for the Tory. The Green and Labour candidates pulled out at the last minute — which doesn’t bode well for the Green party leader’s demands regarding the national debates. If she’s invited, will she even show up? And which one is the leader now anyway? They can’t seem to agree.

Then back to London. Back to being leader of Ukip on Wednesday, which was a day I got to be a little more like the old me. Still no booze, but at the end of a long day working on Ukip’s campaign strategy and more, I got to enjoy dinner near Bank, in the City of London, with some business people. I can never really decide whether I preferred being in business to being in politics. I do enjoy holding the establishment to account — but I also wonder how much better it might have been for my financial situation, and my blood pressure, if I had stuck with my old gig.

On Friday I drove to Bolton — ten hours in the car in total — for a dinner with the local business community at Bolton Wanderers FC. My deputy Paul Nuttall and I were the speakers, but our conversation throughout the night was dominated by Amjad Bashir and our growing concerns about him, especially the rumours beginning to permeate about a gerrymandered selection in Keighley. Dan Hannan, the MEP who took Bashir as a defector into the Tory party, had no idea that a number of serious allegations against him had been coming to a head for some time. Bashir knew we’d had enough of him, and decided to jump. And I was relieved that he went, too. He was the basis of numerous furious rows in MEP meetings. His political agenda appeared to be different from ours, and now he can lobby for an expansion of EU foreign policy including Turkey joining the EU, and for Palestine to be recognised as a state, from within the Tory party. Perhaps he’ll also get a more sympathetic hearing for his views on Pakistani blasphemy laws. I joked on Friday to Paul Nuttall that Bashir knew the end of the road had come, and that the other parties were welcome to him. I never for a second thought that the Tories would accept him. Caveat emptor.

Nigel Farage is leader of Ukip and an MEP for South East England.

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Show comments
  • Damaris Tighe

    Nigel, all power to your elbow. But I hope Ukip has now learned its lesson & has started properly vetting all candidates. This means being truly colour-blind & stopping playing the establishment’s game of tokenism.

    • John Croston

      Has the Islamic fundamentalist Ummer Farooq been thrown out yet? I can’t believe that UK!P – who are supposed to be keeping extremists out of the party – ever gave him membership. Come to that, all Muslims hold extreme beliefs and should be questioned on them before being allowed membership of any British political party. It saddens me that we actually have people in Parliament who ( if they are practicing Muslims and not apostates) believe that punishments can include the lopping off of hands and feet and crucifixion; and that women who step out of line can be beaten – and nobody ever pulls them up on this.

      Any prospective member should at the very least be asked the “Yes” or “No” question on whether or not he/she believes that Mohammad’s slaughter of all the menfolk of the Banu Qurayza and the enslavement of the women and children was justified. Any who do not instantly say “No” should be shown the door on the grounds that they hold beliefs that are unacceptable in a civilised society. A lie detector would be handy, of course.

      • Icebow

        They should recite the Anti-Shahada.

    • dado_trunking

      Tokenism – what, like engaging in Dry January just because a couple of 25 year old health spads (previous term: health n a z i s) tell everyone to?

      You ‘group thinkers’ really need your heads examining.

  • Zanderz

    My dry January lasted till the 3rd. I shall try again this month.

  • FreiGeborenEinzelne

    One thing that is never really spoken about in any seriousness is just how much of your life being a politician takes up and i fully respect Nigel for just how much effort he puts in. A lesser man would have taken an easier path.
    Bashir is history, lesson learned, move on, life is too short to worry about such things, plenty more interesting things to do like giving the Establishment a kicking in May.

    • John Croston

      But has the lesson been learned? The lesson was that it is madness to allow Muslims to infiltrate our political parties, wasn’t it?

      Nigel points out that Bashir appeared to following his own ( obviously Islamic) agenda – but why on earth would this be a surprise to anyone? That’s what Muslims do. Does anyone really think that Labour’s Muslims are socialists, that Lib-Dem Muslims are liberals or believe in democracy or that Tory Muslims are conservative in anything other than a religious sense? And does anybody really believe that a UK1P member who is a Muslim has any loyalty to the UK? A Muslim’s loyalty is to Islam and the Ummah – not to any kuffar political party. And it’s high time some people woke up to that fact.

      • FreiGeborenEinzelne

        I know a Muslim in UKIP who said that religion has no place in politics and anyone who thinks it does should not be even a branch official, so er, no, I dont agree with your sweeping generalisations. He said that anyone who doesnt like the UK as it is should go elsewhere, he didnt emigrate here so people could turn it into the place he emigrated from.
        If I recall, one of the biggest infiltrations was by some new age hippies in one of the southern branches.
        I know none of this will matter to you, your mind is fixed and you have no capacity to change it, but dont assume that everyone will agree with you, life is never that simple and you have the BNP who support your views.

        • Damaris Tighe

          I think you’re both right. I’ve said to John before that there are many ‘muslims’ who are called that because they have muslim parents, but who don’t practise the religion or only a very minimal version of it . He replied that in his view they are not muslims.

          • John Croston

            Damaris – What gets me is that nobody ever actually asks them what their beliefs are – and then they are surprised when the Muslim reverts to type. The things FreiGE is saying about his particular pet Muslim was said by many others in defence of Bashir when I told them over and over again that he could not be trusted. I do hate to say “I told you so.”

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            Well, who is John to say who is and isnt a Muslim? I dont think Muslims are a problem IF those fundamental issues that clearly exist with the faith in this country AND our political establishment tackle them. The reason we are where we are is because for 20 years, nobody has tackled them, but I remain hopeful.
            Hearing a Muslim shopkeeper ranting not at us non-Muslims but to a fellow Muslim about these ‘stupid kids’ going to Syria and how anyone caught fighting for ISIS should never walk the streets again, that gave me hope. He was livid at what was happening and said they dont know how lucky they are to live in a country like Britain. Ironically his ultimate solution was that they were never allowed back into this country and should be disowned by Britain, something ive heard before somewhere…

          • greggf

            Your muslim shopkeeper may appear to have adopted British values Frei. But what does he think about FGM, marrying cousins, importing uneducated spouses from the sub-continent, forced marriage, women’s rights, homosexuality, Pakistani grooming gangs, Charlie Hebdo, sharia law, etc, etc?
            Violence gets the headlines but it’s their cultural practices and the creed, commonly referred to as Islamization, on which they are based that are more dangerous to Britain and Europe.
            As I said above: not all Germans were N*z*s but enough of them succumbed to a Hitl**ite creed for long enough to devastate Europe.

          • Me Again

            …and yet the father of that Jordanian pilot said ‘I don’t know why he was fighting against Muslims anyway, it’s not right’.

            It is this inability to draw a line between ones religion and ones country that is the difficulty. I think whilst not quite unique it is fairly uncommon for a religion to be cross border in this particular manner. Historically Christians of whatever ilk had no mental conflict when it came to killing Christians of another country. My own secretary placed a higher premium on loyalty to her religion than to her country even though born here. I was surprised I have to say. She’s very passive unless her religion is somehow perceived as threatened or slighted then she becomes quite aggressive but not towards me.

            It is hard to combat this perception, in fact it may be impossible. This is why the appeal of an Islamic state/Caliphate is there at all. Like Israel is a magnet to Jews from all over I suspect that if ISIS, or whatever it’s called this week, were less draconian, there would be a serious path beaten to its borders by discontented Muslims..
            The fact that they make sociopaths seem gentle and kindly is probably all that has prevented this happening. There is a perception that Muslims haven’t had a chance to shine, or more correctly have only managed to shine when it is related to atrocities, although how you can go from the current murder and mayhem to a state of gentleness, poetry and learning is beyond me.

            Failure to recognise that IT IS a problem with the religion will lead us down the wrong path away from a solution. It is sad but a fact of life.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            I think the whole ISIS attraction is more complex than just the creation of a Muslim state, there are plenty of them around, some with pretty draconian laws, much of the Gulf for instance.
            Discontent is very common in Western culture right now, sometimes it is expressed politically and other times through religion. It goes wrong in either case with parties like Golden Dawn for example which who knows what they would do if they had the resources to create their own state in their image.

          • John Croston

            Old Muslim saying – “We smile in their faces and curse them in our hearts.”

            You do realise that Allah ( in the Koran) repeatedly forbids Muslims from having non-Muslim friends, don’t you?

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            God tells christians not to kill, remind me how that has gone over the last few thousand years….

          • Mustela putorius furo

            I just thought I ought to point out that there have not been Christians around for a ‘few’ thousand years.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            Excellent semantics, you get a gold star.

          • Mustela putorius furo

            Thank you

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            No semantics, you were factualy wrong.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            The definition of a ‘few’ is a small number, the number one would be a small number, so do you dispute that it is a small number or that one is a number??
            Also, it is spelt ‘factually’, if you are going to attempt to correct me, atleast learn to spell first, might help your point somewhat.

          • David Prentice

            atleast is a word now, Frei Pedant?

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            What does a captive pedant look like?

          • John Croston

            How do you square Christians not obeying the Biblical instruction not to kill with Muslims devoutly obeying the Koranic instructions to kill.

            Don’t you see the difference? Islam instructs its followers to take part in never-ending warfare against everybody else. And some very devout ones follow those instructions.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            You make my point. You contend that because the Koran says one thing, we should be worried about Muslims but Christians, despite explicit instructions in the bible NOT to take life, Christians ignore it. If Christians can pick and choose how strictly they follow the bible, why is a Muslim any different? Surely the choice to ignore is equal in all human beings, no?
            You have no capacity to accept that people wont behave like you assume. You are the kind of person who will assume that because one person in UKIP says something racist, they all must be doing so and if there is no proof, it must be a cover up. There isnt much one can say to that kind of thought process, it is inherently flawed.

          • global city

            Observant Catholics suck up all the shit that the Pope produces. There are 1.5 billion Muslims round the world, if they all observed the tenets of their horrific book then there would be real bedlam!

          • John Croston

            That’s true. But enough of them do suck it up and carry out the instructions. See ISIS and Boko Haram for details.

          • global city

            I am not defending Islam. I was making the clear case that most Muslims are OK people, who are ‘bad’ Muslims, when it comes to the tenets of their book.

          • yojojo jojo

            naughty John you made that up

          • Rob Silvertree

            Oh! so reasonable liberal claptrap.. The ‘kids’ that go to Syria to fight for ISIS are not kids….I killed my first man at 19…As soldier….These people are not welcome back…If they knew that it was a one way trip, it may give them pause for thought..It would certainly concentrate the minds of their families to take a bit of control….When a million Muslims march the streets saying ” Not in My Name” I will perhaps be a little less suspicious of them generally.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            You are suspicious because the terrorists want you to be, you are more likely to die falling down the stairs than from a terrorist attack. I suggest you reserve more suspicion for the stairs.

          • DazEng

            NO. He is suspicious because of the 29000+ deadly acts of terror carried out by Muslims since 9/11… And before you say it, the peaceful majority of Muslims are irrelevant. Their utter silence makes them so.

            Poll after poll also suggests that although many Muslims would not carry out these acts, a HUGE number are in total agreement with them.

            It’s undeniable, it’s a fact and we can’t get away from it. Burying your head in the sand pretending we are the ones scared will not change it.

            Grow a pair and face facts!

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            If you had a pair you would just admit that you dislike Muslims instead of trying to quote polling results like a third rate journalist. People like you are always silent when a Muslim had stood up for Western democracy. I have always supported those who are brave enough to stand up to death threats to make their voice heard, people with a bigger pair than you will ever possess.

          • DazEng

            Who killed the Jews of Medina?
            Who invaded Coptic Egypt lands and killed millions of Copts to become Arab majority?
            Who invaded Iraq which was Assyrian Christian and killed millions to become Arab majority?
            Who invaded Syria to kill Syriac Orthodox to become Arab majority?
            Who invaded Constantinople and wiped out millions of native Byzantines to become Turkish majority?
            Who was Timur Lung who killed 20 million Christians,Buddhists and Shias?

            Who invaded Persia through the sword and killed millions to convert Zoroastrians to Sunni Islam?
            Who reconquered Sunni Persia and killed millions to convert them to Shia Islam?
            Who invaded Afghanistan and killed and drove out the Buddhists?
            Who killed tens of Millions of Hindus and Sikhs in Jihadi Wars,Genocidal massacres and enslavements in Indian Subcontinent?
            Who enslaved the people of Africa,Europe and Central China and practiced sex slavery with their women in harems?
            The Fatimids called their sex slaves Saqaliba,the Ottomans called theirs Kaneez and the Arabs called their Ma Malakat Aymankum?
            Who hired the Barbaries to attack Western Europe and abduct European women? Who attacked and enslaved American women in the Barbary War?
            Who led the Christian Holocaust of millions of Armenians,Greeks and Assyrians in WW1?
            Who beseiged and raided Italy,Spain,Serbia,Bulgaria,Albania to the gates of Vienna?
            Who killed millions of Shias in the Iran-Iraq war?
            Who invaded India in the 1960s?
            Who killed 3 million Bengalis in 1971?
            Who killed 1 million in East Timor during the Indonesian occupation?
            Who killed 2 million Sudanese Christians?
            And who is committing terrorism in Russia,China,India,Phillipines,Nigeria,Kenya,Western world and the entire Middle East?
            And btw…who is committing the genocide of Yazidis?

            Yeah, you’re right. Nothing to worry about.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            And who killed 100,000 + civilians in the Iraq war? Does that not worry you? Probably not.
            Wasnt Muslims that killed millions in WW2 either, Germany wasnt run by Muslims then, although ive no doubt you think it was, if it will help your argument.

          • greggf

            Your muslim shopkeeper may appear to have adopted British values Frei. But what does he think about FGM, marrying cousins, importing uneducated spouses from the sub-continent, forced marriage, women’s rights, homosexuality, grooming gangs, Je Suis Charlie, sharia law, etc, etc?
            Violence gets the headlines but it’s their cultural practices and the writings on which they are based that are more dangerous to Britain and Europe.
            As I said above: not all Germans were N*z*s but enough of them succumbed to Mr H’s philosophy for long enough to devastate Europe.

        • John Croston

          And what is his opinion on the lopping off of hands and feet, wife-beating and crucifixion which his religion calls for? I’d like to see him condemn such barbarisms before I would give him the time of day.

          My mind is indeed fixed – I have read the Koran and Hadith and have eyes to see what Islam does all around the world, you see. Islam gives Nazism a run for its money when it comes to advocating world conquest and intolerance. The West should show it Zero Tolerance.

        • Michael Nettleton

          Its a shame that all Muslims dont feel the same way.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            It is a shame that some Mormons use specific techniques to try and sign up new members to their faith, but such is life, one simply has to ignore them.

          • Michael Nettleton

            But mormons dont go around blowing people up and beheading them.

          • FreiGeborenEinzelne

            No but the Book of Mormon has plenty of texts that someone of the right mind could use to justify it and it isnt as if there arent people like Warren Jeffs who will use the faith to their own twisted ends.

          • Icebow

            I’m sure you’re right, though I have never felt one.
            Come to think of it, I have.

        • Rob Silvertree

          not a bad post…..except for the snide last sentence…Religion has no place in politics. Does it matter if someone is a Methodist, C of E, Roman Catholic, no of course not…So why should it matter if someone is a Muslim….Well…to answer that you have to understand that Islam is not merely a religion, but an all encompassing life style. It even instructs you which hand to wipe your bottom with…Islam is not compatible with democracy..More than 70% of Muslims want to live under Sharia Law where women are seen to be less than a man..Of course, judging by your final dopey comment you will shriek racist at me and make yourself look an utter prat.

      • greggf

        “But has the lesson been learned?”

        Not all Germans were N*z*s…..

        • bobzelf

          you think so ?????
          they are still in EU , so all the germans were Nazi’s
          answer : yes and still

          • John

            A lot of the people murdered in the Holocaust were Germans you ridiculous oaf.

          • bobzelf

            you got a new holocaust book for christmas ???
            you saw pegoda ???
            and who is protesting ??? againsy this friendly people ??

            the SS=elite again ,
            so sleep on miy friend

        • John Croston

          All members of the Nazi Party were Nazis. All members of the Islamic faith are Muslims. It’s the ideology. And neither Islam nor Nazism are ideologies which are compatible with democracy and freedom.

        • John Croston

          All Muslims are Muslims.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Your reply to my comment to FreiGeb has been censored. I’ve no idea why.

        • John Croston

          Occupational hazzard when you tell the truth about Islam.

        • John Croston

          Telling the truth is unacceptable.

          • Damaris Tighe

            I note that this is your second try at replying to me – on top of the original censored post.

        • dado_trunking

          Have you heard of disqus’s ‘too much bad German directly translated by google’ filter?

      • Alex

        But there are plenty of Christians in all parties too, are they to be purged? Muslims are not a fifth column with unified goals any more than Christians are.

  • Amicus001

    During January I have been imbibing a little more each day in order to remedy some of the damage being done to the drinks industry by this dumb notion.

  • obbo12

    I survived dry January because Guido sold me these funny white pills with a smiley face on them. I don’t what was in them but, by George they helped a chap forget drinking. Now what’s the official greeting now, oh yes, hail Farage . Err no that is that fellow Spode. Ever met him, you’d like him even if he does look dash funny in his foooterbags. Hang on a second old bean, I’ll get in the end . What’s it, oh yes Vote UKIP.

    • Icebow

      I have survived Dry January by drinking only dry white wine and dry sherry; hope I haven’t misunderstood.

      • obbo12

        Well done that man, a perfectly sound idea. I’m sure I can rattle up some sherry in somewhere, thanks for the tip old chap. Puts me in mind of sweat May, cracking girl used to work at Simpson in the Strand. Toodle pip, off to buy some dry Riesling.

  • Nexialist

    Once a Muslim, always a Muslim, such is the injunction of Sharia law. When non-Muslim political parties are interviewing Mahommedan candidates, however moderate and ‘non-practising’ they claim to be, they should remember that Muslims are prohibited from criticising, abjuring or leaving the faith on pain of death. There is no democracy in Islam. Simple really! Muslims are slaves to the will of God and his prophet and woe betide anyone who steps out of line. Muslims are also commanded, on pain of death, to spread the faith and engage in all forms of taquiya to infiltrate the enemy, i.e. us non-believers, via ‘cultural Islam’. Simple really. However nice and friendly they may appear, they always have a higher calling, when the imam calls for jihad, and that is to kill or enslave us and impose the jizya. Simple really.

  • Sachsen

    The Greek debt crisis was not caused by the EURO at all, it was only exacerbated because Greece was asked to stick to the terms of a contract they signed up for. The problem is of course the total lack of any state institutions like a functioning tax collection agency like the inland revenue for example. There is plenty of money that was made in Greece, only it didn’t end up there. Looking back the Maastricht Treaty should have catered for exits from the EURO and if it had, Greece would have been gone long ago. But of course what’s happening now is that Greece, knowing there will be no debt relief from Brussels, goes begging to the Russians and that opens a whole other can of worms for Europe.

    • Druth

      The Greek lied about entry and EU knew, everyone knew; except you apparently.

      • Sachsen

        What are you talking about, that’s exactly what I said.

  • pyewacket

    You’re too bloody good for any political party Nigel. You actually care about things and you get hurt and frustrated at all the crap that gets thrown at you by jealous rivals. Politicians need to have thick hides and thick heads if they are to thrive. You lack this kind of density mate. All I want is for you to get us out of the EU. Then you will be free to leave politics and live in peace! UKIP will flounder without you though.

  • John Croston

    The censorship on here is ridiculous. Have they forgotten what “Je Suis Charlie” was about so soon?

    • Cyril Sneer

      “Have they forgotten what “Je Suis Charlie” was about so soon?”

      Standing around holding placards pledging solidarity when in reality bending over for Islamists by not re-producing the cartoons and achieving absolutely nothing but giving each other a big pat on the back.

      Reminds me of the hashtag – save our girls, as equally useless as the I am charlie campaign.

      • bionde

        Log on to pickering post or jesus and mo for some REALLY good cartoons , way better than Charlie Hebdo. Larry Pickering has a fatwa against him but he doesn’t give a rats arse.

  • 4194

    Probably much to UKIP’s chagrin, the scenario of an economically weak Greece defaulting on previous bailout loans and falling out of the Euro, may inadvertently usher in the over ambitious EZ group’s return to its core of world-class economies – Germany and the Benelux plus a couple. The Scandinavians are not in the Euro and the UK economy likely is not competitive enough.

    The full EU project of might then continue with its original internal market purpose and expansion, negotiating multinational trade agreements and sustaining peaceful co-operation of its members.

    • Druth

      All wonderful theorizing and I am sure that the EU could have been a marvelous thing if wasn’t for those pesky UKIPpers. But you’re doing what you euorfascists always do, arguing how great its going to be and then quietly forcing it upon us without our say so and hating us for complaining. Still you know best.

      • Nicholas Erskine

        Do you know what a fascist is?

        • Druth

          Yes you’re right. I should have used the word traitor.

    • Vengeful Fruitcake

      France is the problem though. The project can’t work without France and France cannot afford to be in the elite Eurozone.

  • Druth

    “It was nothing short of fascinating. The Five Star movement is basically a wholly online political party.”

    The irony being that Farage has always been a technophobe. Although Mr Farage is fantastic at many things he also has a number of blind spots. Unfortunately because one of them is the inability to delegate his party shares all his failings. You cannot help but like and admire the man, but don’t do so uncritically.

    Don’t misunderstand me I am definitely not saying that he should go, but the best thing that he could do for UKIP – if our fate is not simply to go phut – is prepare us for a time when he is no longer around.

    • pobinr

      He’s said he’s not fussed about being around if we GTF out the EUssr

  • Patrick G

    Dry January? As a politician Nigel Farage should be ashamed of himself for joining this bandwagon. There are many small independent businesses such as mine which are in danger of going OUT of business due to this stupid craze. Support your pubs and beer shops in January otherwise they may not be there for you in February!

    • Airey Belvoir

      A dry February makes more sense – shortest month.

  • I did stuff this week too.

  • Ivan Ewan

    Nigel Farage, help us – you’re our only hope.
    *STATIC*
    Nigel Farage, help us – you’re our only hope.
    *STATIC*

  • global city

    Farage was on great form today on the Daily Politics, back to his expert, incontestable self, instead of all that half baked immigrant stuff.

  • dado_trunking

    Nigel, please excuse my French – I was brought up to deliver de rigueur.

    Why do common lefties like you always do things in groups when some PR muppets come up with a new craze? Is this a herd instinct, does it make them feel safe?

    Every year you lefties grow beards in November, spend like idiots in December, don’t eat and pose in the gym in January and go to the garden centre at Easter. In droves, not because you want to, you do it because other people do the same.
    What is wrong with you. Dry January my backside – what happened to good old fasting when GOD tells you to?

  • I worry that people still misunderstand the nature of Islam and continue to attempt to impose a 19th Century western critical apparatus on the Koran. In fact, should we bother to read the worrying texts in context and within the context of helpful hadiths and commentaries, then we would never have a problem with Islam at all. Today, it seems to me that Islam is going through a transition and there are three distinct forms of “interpretation”- the Wahabi (whjich we might see as a puritanical sect but which is also influenced by its cultural context – and of course is very wealthy), the Iranian model (which goes well beyond Shia and fuses radical politics with a fairly aggressive and expansionist ideology) and a version of Islam which has already reconciled itself to co-existence with the West and which the West long-ago accepted. We owe our Renaissance and advances in Astronomy and Medicine indeed to the links we already had 1000 years ago with Islam! There are various sub-catagories of course; the least “fundamentalist” of these is the Iranian version which interprets so much, it manages to reconcile the impossible- elevating the idea of “sahid”/martyrdom to such a level that it obliterates the absolute command in the Koran against suicide and against injuring women, children and the sick; that ignores appeals for peace. Islam is the only world religion that has a specific prohibition in the primary scripture against suicide. What we need to do today is to encourage the third way- and to accommodate any group that fosters what Blair called “moderate” Islam. The Wahabi model and the Iranian model are, however, influencial and so appeal to a community that feels pressured.
    So, in this context, any links that can be fostered with Turkey are to be encouraged. Turkey is an example of a State that espouses the “third way”, and while some of its discussions seem arcane (the headscarf thing, for instance, which is actually, in part, a political statement- you can tell which party someone belongs to by the way she wears her scarf), it is on the right track and has dealt well with business. Indeed, it only took Turkey 4 years to build an excellent High speed rail link from Istanbul to Konya, further I note than the link proposed between London and Birmingham! Links with Turkey are within the UKIP remit which is to set up our own bilateral agreements rather than to have these agreements and associations imposed by the EU. Would we want Turkey in a wider trade association of European states- certainly, but would we want Turkey to be part of the EU as it currently stands? I think even Turkey has reservations about that one! Should it be treated by Brussels in the way it is currently treated? Absolutely not! But then Brussels treats too many nations with utter contempt – and the Greek debacle is the natural result. To push Turkey aside is a silly and short-sighted vision, and in the end, the more it makes Turkey wait, the weaker the EU project will become. Turkey has a natural home within the European community- and we need Turkey’s help if we are to deal with Islamic terrorism.
    As for the Keighley thing- it is quite astonishing the way little people run around causing chaos when they are given a bit of power. Our job in politics is to create harmony and to get things done. Amjad Bashir has misunderstood his job and it augurs ill as Nigel says that the Tories now want him.
    As I see it, only UKIP offers genuine solutions to problems like HS2, the European experiment and our relationship with countries beyond the EU. We need, as a matter of urgency, to have a much better bond with the commonwealth and particularly with Pakistan and as businessmen, we need to be able to take our own decisions in our own country and to forge our own alliances to meet our needs. We must find a more positive voice to speak about Islam and to promote those forms of Islam, in fact the dominant forms, that have co-existed with us already for so long and that today are threatened especially by the Iranian interpretation of Islam. Only when we speak in one voice with Islam can we ever hope to confront the dangers of the Iranian experiment and the surge towards terrorism.

  • erwin toseland

    it now turns out that the one muslim party in britain, the Respect party,had already thrown him out.

  • Chris Hobson

    farage is old news.

  • Catherine Cave

    OK – we are all different. Thank God we are. Mr Farage LOOKS as if he drinks a lot. Starts to look like my ex vaguely…..he died 2 years ago – diseased liver…..whispering what he wanted to drink over the counter – how ridiculous…..he wants to try giving it up……I feel far better for not having had a drink in 3 years……don’t want to go the way of my ex……he was much too young, too…….but Mr Farage is not my “target” but good luck to him……

  • bob

    google – uk welfare reform deaths…and ask why britain is being investigated by the un for crimes to the disabled….

  • myles strong

    why does he dress up as a toff investment (asset stripper) banker

  • yojojo jojo

    I’ve read a lot of comments .now I feel a little scared if I vote UKIP , Please advise is it a far right party

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